What do Actors do?

Acting is a profession that requires unusual talent and years of training and study. It is a physically and intellectually demanding job and there is very little job security. However, most Actors report a great deal of satisfaction from their work. An Actor who is also a musician or singer will have a wider choice of roles, especially is a supporting capacity. Theatre, TV, film or radio productions often incorporate music and need an Actor with musical ability to fill the role.

It is possible to find steady employment in an acting career, although many Actors need to supplement their income with other work. Actors may work in local and regional acting companies, music videos, appear in shows, narrate films, read stories or plays for audiobooks, or play minor parts in movies and radio and television serials or commercials. Some Actors become dramatic coaches, directors, or acting teachers in schools, colleges, and local theatre groups.

New Actors often start in small companies with small roles. They progress to larger roles in other media or become understudies to lead roles. If the lead performer falls ill, the understudy will take his or her place for that performance. Actors may also move from very small experimental theatres or children's entertainment to larger companies with larger audiences.

Formal training in acting is generally necessary to become an Actor, but practical acting experience is the most common requirement for success. Special training in the dramatic arts is widely available at schools, universities and specialist academies or drama schools. The more experience a new Actor gets, the better. Joining a local theatre group, participating in activities that require public speaking, taking part in school plays, and watching as many films and plays as possible are all activities that will help build skills as an Actor. A knowledge of theatre history and of play and film production is important, and developing skills as an instrumental musician or singer can also be very helpful. The more training and practical experience an Actor has, the wider the range of employment possibilities.

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